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Orange Cocoa Cake




  • 1/2 cup Hershey's cocoa
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter or margarine, softened
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons plus 1/8 teaspoon baking soda, divided
  • 1 cup plus 3 tablespoons buttermilk or sour milk, divided*
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly grated orange peel
  • 1/4 teaspoon orange extract

*To sour milk: Use 1 tablespoon white vinegar plus milk to equal 1 cup; use 1/2 teaspoon white vinegar plus milk to equal 3 tablespoons.

Orange Buttercream Frosting

  • 2/3 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 6 cups confectioners' sugar, divided
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated orange peel
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 to 6 tablespoons milk


  1. Cake: Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease three 8- or 9-inch round baking pans; line with wax paper.
  2. Stir together cocoa and water in small bowl until smooth; set aside.
  3. Beat butter, shortening, sugar, salt and vanilla extract in large bowl until well blended.
  4. Add eggs; beat well.
  5. Stir 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda into 1 cup buttermilk; add to butter mixture alternately with flour.
  6. Measure 1 2/3 cups batter into small bowl; stir in remaining 1/8 teaspoon baking soda and 3 tablespoons buttermilk, orange peel and orange extract.
  7. Pour into one prepared pan.
  8. Stir cocoa mixture into batter; divide evenly between remaining two prepared pans.
  9. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
  10. Cool for 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Carefully peel off wax paper. Cool completely.
  11. Place one chocolate layer on serving plate; spread with Orange Buttercream Frosting.
  12. Top with orange layer; spread with frosting.
  13. Top with remaining chocolate layer; frost top and sides of cake.
  14. Orange Buttercream Frosting: Beat butter, 1 cup confectioners' sugar, orange peel and vanilla extract in large bowl until creamy.
  15. Add remaining confectioners' sugar alternately with milk, beating to spreading consistency.

Yield: 10 to 12 servings

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